Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Thursday slammed the BJP government for inciting intolerance in the country through 'politics of cow' and saffronising the state.
Without naming anyone, Banerjee hit out at the cow surveys carried out by some parties calling them intolerable and urged people to stop polarisation, news reports said.
"I heard that few people, on behalf of a political party or its sister organisation is reaching out to the people. They are asking about the number of cows in each household. What right do they have to ask this question?" Banerjee asked as reported by The Hindu.
Banerjee, who was addressing a massive rally in central Kolkata to mark the killings of many Congress workers in police firing in 1993, remembered as the Martyr's Day said people have the right to chose.
"Some people have forgotten that people have the right to chose. [However] if I consume goats then there is no problem, but if the other person consumes cow, it is [a problem]...I wear a sari and it is not a problem, but someone may chose to wear salwar-kameez and then it turns out to be a problem. We [Bengalis] may wear dhoti, but someone may prefer a lungi - what is the issue here...[and] who are you to decide? A few people would decide what to wear and what not to eat...how is it possible," she asked.
Hitting out at the government for the recent attacks on Dalits in Una in Gujarat for allegedly eating cow meat, she said, "Dalits are targetted in Gujarat. We are condemning these incidents. And I would like to make it clear that if someone would like to conduct this [cow] survey - tries to set fire - be rest assured we would not tolerate that. We would fight such [intentions] politically. We will not let you set houses on fire."
"There have been atrocities against Dalits. I have read in the newspaper that some do business of cow leather for long. Those who are cobblers also use cow leather. These are age-old practices. But these people were tied up and assaulted," she added.